Fear

Our Hope Rises Higher

Surveying the damage, they can’t imagine life again after the storm. They can’t yet see the trees that will grow to replace those pulled up by their roots. They can’t picture anything flourishing again in this place of devastation. *** Looking out at the endless sea of cars sitting on the interstate, I felt restless […]

Invocation to the Night I Drowned

I am the panic attack that upended your entire life. I am the storm you could never remember seeing but always felt. I am removing this identity from you like I have many times before. I am going to grow in you yet a new one as I have always done before. I am not […]

When a New Diagnosis Brings a Storm

If I had ever been skydiving, I would know about the wind having its way with you. I could tell you, no problem, that when you’re turned topsy-turvy in an earth-less void, up and down become abstractions, not facts to orient yourself by. You lose your bearings. But I am the last person on earth […]

When Hospitality is Radical

  She pauses, the doorbell’s eerie reverberations beat a note of panic through her veins. She wipes her hands on the linen apron wrapped around her and hurries to tell them to hide themselves in the basement or attic.   She breathes deeply, realizes this is the moment she and her husband have talked about, […]

Minnie Vautrin: Staring Down Death

“The city is strangely silent—after all the bombing and shelling. Three dangers are past—that of looting [Chinese] soldiers, bombing from aeroplanes and shelling from big guns, but the fourth is still before us—our fate at the hands of a victorious army. People are very anxious tonight and do not know what to expect . . […]

The Rightness of Clothes

You know that thing where you show up for a fashion show in such amazing clothes that the photographers there assume you’re Someone Famous and photograph you? But actually you’re a sixty-something Fordham social work professor and just have really fabulous taste? And because of that photo shoot, you become a fashion icon, model, and […]

Free to Be Me

  It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced it: vulnerability hangover. It’s a term Brene Brown coined for that feeling of, “Did I just share too much? Is she going to think I’m way too much of a mess?” It’s enough to make you throw up a little. But I felt that vulnerability hangover the other […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]

Hope and Healing for the Sexually Broken

A heads up: this post is about pornography, lust, masturbation, and sexual orientation, but more importantly it’s about a woman calling out to God in her desperate need and God answering her with Himself. Before you read it, please remember something that normally goes without saying: people have the right to share their lived experiences, […]

Mom, I’m Pregnant

On my way to a doctor’s appointment this morning, I grabbed Starbucks and then delivered a frappuccino to my daughter. As soon as my hands were empty, I picked up my grandson and smothered him with snuggles. We smiled at each other and laughed. I talked gibberish to him and I am pretty sure he […]

The Biggest Hindrance to Creativity Isn’t Time

Originally posted April 1, 2016. Before I had kids, I got a master’s degree in creative writing at San Diego State. I had quit my job as a technical writer not long before, and my husband earned enough that I didn’t need to work. So throughout my degree program, I had all day to write. You would […]

Integrity Is The Opposite of Cutting Ourselves

Can I tell you an embarrassing story? Picture me and a guy I liked sitting together on some stairs on our college campus. We’re having a serious DTR. Since the first time I met this guy, I thought he was super-cute, and over the last year and a half, we’ve spent more and more time […]